Photoshop CS5 Trickery & FX: Simplifying The Interface - Part 1
Whenever a digital program is updated, the intention is to improve its workflow, and Photoshop CS4 Extended does just that. Chapter 1 describes the new features included in the Photoshop CS4 layout and gives you a deeper insight as to how to improve your creativity with this program. To make sure we are on the same page in terms of navigating the interface, I’ll provide you with a brief explanation of Photoshop CS4 Extended’s interface, which includes ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), Bridge, creating brushes, and the 32-bit environment. Practical and creative uses of the tools will be covered in later tutorials.
Open GL In CS4 Extended
Another one of Photoshop CS4 Extended’s new capabilities is that it uses the graphics card hardware to function more effectively in an Open GL (Open Graphics Language or Open Graphics Library) environment. Programmers for 3D and video programs have worked diligently to design their software so that the user can produce work more effectively without any slowdown, which usually results from rendering. Rendering is simply the process of producing shading, texturing, reflection, and lighting details to achieve a more photorealistic look. Typically, rendering takes an inordinate amount of time and decreases your productivity, which is why Adobe has created CS4 Extended to take advantage of the Open GL if the graphic card has that capability.
Open GL gives 3D animation software users the capability to see the maximum amount of texturing without actually rendering. So what you are getting is a type of proxy using shaders to simulate the texture capabilities that you have specified for your 3D surface details or video effects. Since shaders rely on vector technology, the results are instantaneous. If you plan to make the most out of CS4 Extended, then make sure that you have purchased an upgraded video card that has Open GL capabilities built in. Adobe, according to its specs, has recommended graphic cards with “Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0” capabilities.
The one peripheral that is used by most digital artists and can help you revolutionize your workflow is the Wacom Cintiq (www.wacom.com). The Cintiq comes in two sizes: the Cintiq 12WX and the Cintiq 21UX (see Figures 1.1 and 1.2).
The 21-inch version will be your main monitor for the desktop workstation. The 12-inch solution is great to place into your laptop case and work on location. It is especially useful for plein air painting. Using this product, your workflow should be as intuitive as placing paint on canvas and creating with your brush.
The Wacom tablet will replace both your monitor and your mouse because you can draw or paint directly onto the Cintiq monitor. This tool gives you direct eye-to-hand functionality that simulates drawing, painting, and drafting.
Photoshop CS4 Layout
Adobe continues to revolutionize the art of image making. Photoshop CS4 brings 2D and 3D workflow closer together in its environment.
The newest interface has a similar efficient layout to the one that was established in CS3. You can access the Interface options in the Preferences panel (Ctrl+K/CMD+K). You have the option to change the interface or its borders to medium gray, black, or any custom color of your choosing.